Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tillman Won't Seek Re-Election Legislator Cites Health of Wife

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Tillman Won't Seek Re-Election Legislator Cites Health of Wife

Article excerpt

Byline: Terry Dickson, Times-Union staff writer

BRUNSWICK -- State Rep. E.C. Tillman announced yesterday he will not seek re-election in order to devote more time to his ministry and care for his wife as she faces surgery.

"I committed myself to her last night I would not run," said Tillman, D-Brunswick.

Tillman was elected to the General Assembly in 1992 after serving on the Glynn County Commission, including a year as its chairman.

When he had a stroke in December 2000 and was hospitalized again in late March, it was his wife, Vivian, who stayed by his bedside and cared for him, Tillman said. A registered nurse, she keeps up with his medication and makes sure he does what is best for his health, Tillman said.

Now it's time for him to care for her as she faces serious surgery in a few weeks, he said. Tillman, who represents District 173 which includes part of Glynn and Liberty counties and all of McIntosh County, did not say why his wife needs surgery.

"It's not because of my health. I'm concerned with her health. She was fair to me and I'm going to be fair to her," Tillman said.

The decision came after a lot of prayer and discussions with his friends and extended family, Tillman said.

"It's a hard thing for me not to run," he said.

State Rep. Jerry Keen, R-St. Simons Island, noted recently that even after his stroke 16 months ago, Tillman kept up on his legislative and ministerial duties.

Tillman said he always tried to be in the pulpit every Sunday morning at Shiloh Baptist Church, where he has been pastor more than 30 years. For his part, Tillman said he has enjoyed serving the dual role.

"Even when I've had to drive down to Jacksonville Monday morning and catch a plane to Atlanta, I've enjoyed it," he said.

Glynn County Commissioner Fred Tullos said Tillman has done much good for the county. …

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